Your Customer Journey
Where's Nigel off to today?
In this week's BGC Nigel is having to entertain himself waiting for a train that is seemingly never to arrive. Stuck ruminating on a platform Nigel's mind is cast over all things journeys.
Make sure you don't fall into the same trap!
Nigel: Meant to be filming Business Growth Central now. Reminds me of that time we had Rory Sutherland at the convention. It was COVID times, you remember? He had to do it remotely from his bedroom. He spoke about this.
Rory Sutherland: The original idea for Uber came about because one of the two co-founders, who is Canadian, was spending a possibly stoned, but certainly very relaxed afternoon, watching the James Bond film "Goldfinger". Bond, in his DB6, is pursuing Auric Goldfinger, who is in a Rolls Royce which is actually made of gold, that's how he smuggles it, through the Swiss Alps. But Q has given the Bond a particular bit of equipment which is a remote tracker. So the Rolls Royce has a tracker installed. And Bond, with a kind of scrolling map in the dashboard or the DB6, is able to see a moving dot which represents where Goldfinger's car is. Which means he can follow him without being seen. And watching this, the Canadian co-founder of Uber suddenly had an epiphany, which is, that's what should happen when you order a cab. You should be able to track it remotely. What's ingenious about this is it spots something really, really important about human psychology which most business models don't understand at all. And what people really care about actually is not how quickly their cab arrives. It's the degree of uncertainty around waiting for their cab. And to be honest, London transport discovered this. The single best thing that London transport ever did to improve customer satisfaction per pound spent wasn't faster, more frequent, more reliable trains. It wasn't later running trains. It wasn't trains with more capacity. It was dot matrix display boards on the platform. Because, fundamentally as humans, we're happier waiting 10 minutes for a train if there's a sign that says, "Upminster, 10 minutes." We're happier waiting 10 minutes for a train, knowing it's going to arrive in 10 minutes, than we are waiting five minutes for a train but not knowing when it's gonna turn up.
Nigel: He's right, you know. I wish this station had a bloody sign telling me how long the train was gonna be. These customer journeys, they do matter. They do matter a lot. Do you remember the florists that we worked with? Gosh, it's going back three or four years now.
Nigel: And at this point, David owned a florist shop in Brighton. So the question he brought to Master Class was how can I, what would the best florist in the world look like? So I thought, interesting question. Don't know where this is going to go. Okay, well what normally happens when you order flowers? You ring up the florist, 'cause most flowers that are ordered are ordered on the telephone. And so they'd say, "How much do you want to spend? What colour of flowers you want?", et cetera. So I'd agree with all that. And then I'd give them Marie's address. And then they'd take my credit card number over the telephone. And they'd say, "Thank you very much." And I put the phone down. And the next thing that happens then, for me as the customer, is that I get a text, or I got a call from Marie later today or tomorrow, when the flowers arrived, saying "Oh nice, that's lovely." And that's how it runs for thousands of florists across the country. So we started to discuss. "Well, okay, how could we make this customer journey better? How could we create a truly excellent customer journey?" The best florist in the world would send me, as the customer, an email confirmation of my order. So before the flowers go out on the van to deliver it to Marie, what Raj has to do, before he can move on to his next job as a florist, he has to go to the corner of the room and he has to call a colleague. So he can't do it himself, he has to call Andy across, there's plenty of them in there. And Raj, who's done the flowers, has to pose, with the flowers, while Andy takes a picture. He then has to send that photograph to me. Now that now is a surprise to me, as a customer. So there's a different way to deliver flowers. So we came up with this job title as deliverer of happiness. The aim of the flowers is to console and commiserate. It's designed to bring a little bit of happiness. So we are, the people delivering the flowers, are deliverers of happiness. So then as soon as... So you can be my deliverer of happiness on this occasion. So David Frost has just delivered this splendid bouquet to Mrs Cross. And but before then, the process now is to be when David gets back to his van, before he can turn the ignition key and turn his van on, he has to pull out his iPhone, which is issued by the business, and he has to send me, the customer, an email. Now it's a pre-written email. "Just to let you know, I've just delivered the flowers to Lindy at 1:35 p.m. today. Thank you ever so much for your order. We really appreciate it. Hope she loves them. Danny. Deliverer of happiness." Now that's a significant improvement in my experience as a customer. And in terms of making me loyal and bringing me back again, we've done a few things here that are likely to have quite an impact on that. But, of course, not everybody's in when you deliver the flowers. So what do we do in that situation? Well, what you do is you find a neighbour and you leave the flowers with the neighbour. So you see him walking up the drive with the flowers and he knocks on the door and tells you he's got some flowers for your neighbour. He's just turned into a deliverer of disappointment. So the process that we designed, David has to go back to the van, and then he has to go to find the neighbour. "Can I leave it? Oh, that's fantastic. What's your name?" And he comes back up the drive. So these are the flowers here. These are for Marie, next door. I'll put a card through Marie's so she knows that you've got them, Adele. And these are for you. Only a little box of six Thornton's chocolates. Not very expensive. It's just a little, it's a nice little thing to have. So the whole thing there, that little good neighbour card and those 6 chocolates has been a really, really smart investment. And that did a number of things for the business. Obviously, it massively had a massive impact on the profile. And Flowers Unlimited went from being just another florist in Brighton to being the dominant florist. I mean, in truth, for much of the Southeast of England now 'cause he's acquired a number of other florist shops. Just different ways of thinking about your customers' experience. And it's not easy to do, I'm not pretending it is. But the payback when you get it right. Oh my goodness, it's massive. In terms of reputation, in terms of flows of people coming in, because they know that the experience that they're gonna get, the journey that they're gonna go on, is gonna be worthwhile. We've paid a lot of attention to this entrepreneur circle. We give a lot of thought as to what people go through from welcome packs, and joining the Facebook group, and how we plug things together so that we give ourselves, as a business, the best chance of making the best impression and being as useful and helpful as we can be to our customers. And those of our customers that have deployed the same strategies and the same processes to thinking about their customer journeys. Well, they're the BGC members that have seen their businesses absolutely take off. Hope that's been a useful episode. Hopefully, sometime soon I'll get off this bloody platform.
Matt the Butler: So today's takeaway, remember Maya Angelou said, "People will forget what you did. People forget what you said. But they will never forget the way you made them feel. So look at it from your customer's perspective and make their dealing with you the most memorable and enjoyable experience you can. Ta-ra, a bit.